Hey, everyone! Today I’m recapping the books I’ve read so far in 2016! At the end of each year, Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner assembles a ginormous list of questions about the previous twelve months of reading. I participated last year and the year before, so I thought… why not do it again this year, since I had so much fun doing this before?!
SO HERE IT GOES.
P.S. You can find the original post, with all the questions, right here on Jamie’s blog.
2016 Reading Stats
Number of books I read in 2016: 93
Number of rereads: 0
Genre I read the most from: Graphic novel
Best in Books
That would have to be Between the World and Me by Ta-Nahisi Coates, the ONE AND ONLY book that earned a five-star rating from me. It’s about racial justice and injustice. Its message is SO important and the writing style blew me away because AHHH I WANT TO WRITE LIKE THAT SOMEDAY.
A book I was excited about and thought I would love more but didn’t?
I felt let down after reading The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. It dragged on and I just didn’t find the romance at the center of this book all that compelling! There was lots of purple prose, too. Meh.
Most surprising book I read in 2016?
Being Jazz: My Life As A (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings, simply because I was delighted to discover how much she’d grown in both wisdom and writing skills since her first work, the picture book I Am Jazz. It made me so excited to see what she’ll go on to do in the future!
Book I pushed the most people to read in 2016?
I posed this question on Facebook today and here are some of the responses I received:
- Ash by Malinda Lo
- Huntress by Malinda Lo
- The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
- The Wicked + The Divine series by Kieron Gillen
Best series I started in 2016?
Oh, without a doubt, Kieron Gillen’s The Wicked + The Divine series! I still have no idea what is even happening in these graphic novels, but I do know that I love them.
Desolation by Derek Landy, the sequel to Demon Road! YAY FOR DEMONS YAY FOR CROSS-COUNTRY ROAD TRIPS YAY FOR CANON LGBTQ+ CHARACTERS.
Best series ender of 2016?
I scanned my “read in 2016” shelf on Goodreads, but I can’t seem to find any books that were the final installment in a series? It’s possible that I missed something, though, so I’ll change this if I do find anything. I didn’t read much this year, however, so it’s entirely possible that there were no series enders in the bunch.
Favorite new author I discovered in 2016?
Ellen Forney! Need to find more of her books and read them: I really enjoyed Marbles, her graphic novel memoir about life as a bi woman with bipolar disorder.
Best book from a genre I don’t typically read/was out of my comfort zone?
Probably Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe? I wouldn’t normally pick up a sixteenth-century morality play, but it was required reading for my Foundations of the English Major class and I’m so glad it was! Funny and tragic all at once.
Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Desolation by Derek Landy, which is just as action-packed as Demon Road and the Skulduggery Pleasant series before it. Those books are several hundred pages of adrenaline.
A book I read in 2016 that I am most likely to reread next year?
I have not yet finished Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov but I already know that I need to reread it – the sooner, the better! This book has so many layers and nuances and I’m absolutely sure that there are things I missed the first time around.
I really enjoyed Chris Riddell’s cover art for The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman, as well as his art from inside this picture book, a wonderfully creepy fairy tale.
Most memorable character of 2016?
Charles Kinbote from Pale Fire, because every time I think I have a good grasp on that character he reveals something that causes me to change my entire view of him. Excellent storytelling on Nabokov’s part.
Most beautifully written book read in 2016?
As you’ll see in just a sec when I provide my favorite quote from a book I read this year, I think it was Between the World and Me. I’m in awe of Coates’ writing style!
Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2016?
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud, because although I’ve been reading graphic novels and comic books for the past few years, I never dreamed that there could be so many complex theories behind the way that graphic storytelling works!
A book I can’t believe I waited until 2016 to FINALLY read?
Ahhhh, Hamlet by William Shakespeare! I was always too intimidated to read it before, and then it was on the syllabus of my summer class on Shakespeare. It was cool to see where so many of the most famous phrases in the English language came from since I hadn’t realized that some of them had even originated with Shakespeare, let alone with that particular play!
Favorite quote from a book I read in 2016?
“But all our phrasing – race relations, racial chasm, racial justice, racial profiling, white privilege, even white supremacy – serves to obscure that racism is a visceral experience, that it dislodges brains, blocks airways, rips muscle, extracts organs, cracks bones, breaks teeth. You must never look away from this. You must always remember that the sociology, the history, the economics, the graphs, the charts, the regressions all land, with great violence, upon the body.”
– Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Hildafolk by Luke Pearson, a cute twenty-four-page graphic novel about a little girl who lives in a world full of magic!
Longest book I read in 2016?
At six hundred and forty pages, Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck was by far the longest book I read this year. And most of it was pictures! Highly recommended if you enjoyed The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Selznick’s other graphic novel/traditional prose novel combination.
A book that shocked me the most?
…I feel like I keep saying The Wicked + The Divine for EVERY question but it’s true! This series has a knack for convincing me that no, of course my new favorite character(s) won’t die, only to kill them off in a horrible and completely unexpected manner.
OTP OF THE YEAR?! (I will go down with this ship!)
OHHHH AMBER AND KELLY FROM DESOLATION.
Honorable mention goes to Leia and Evaan from the Star Wars: Princess Leia comic by Mark Waid. They’re not even canon, but I don’t care because A) I’m not alone in my shipping and B) SPACE IS GAY I REPEAT SPACE IS GAY.
Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year?
Honestly, all of the relationships between characters in Jeff Smith’s Bone series. I love that this series places equal emphasis on the importance of familial, platonic, and romantic relationships!
Favorite book I read in 2016 from an author I’ve read previously?
Again, that would be The Wicked + The Divine. I thoroughly enjoyed Kieron Gillen’s Young Avengers series and I’m looking forward to reading his comic books about Darth Vader!
Best book I read in 2016 that I read based SOLELY on peer pressure/a recommendation from somebody else?
I began Jeff Smith’s Bone series because Orphu @ A Mirror Made of Words loves these graphic novels and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about! I LOVE THESE BOOKS SO MUCH OK OMG STARTING THIS SERIES WAS SUCH A GOOD DECISION.
Newest fictional crush from a book I read in 2016?
WONDER WOMAN WONDER WOMAN WONDER WOMAN. I read three of her comics this year – the first three volumes of Brian Azzarello’s New 52 series!
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo, an #OwnVoices book about a transgender teen girl in the South!
Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting in a book I read this year?
That’s gotta be Bone. It has the scope of Lord of the Rings with the outlook of Calvin and Hobbes, or maybe Skulduggery Pleasant. I’M SUPER EMOTIONAL ABOUT THIS SERIES AND ITS WORLD.
A book that put a smile on my face/was the most FUN to read?
Philippa Rice’s Soppy is a graphic novel about her relationship with her boyfriend and even though I am normally a BITTER, JADED LESBEAN when it comes to super heterosexual love stories such as this one, I can’t help but admit that it was sooo cuuuute. It reminded me of a lot of the couples I know! Definitely lived
A book that made me cry or nearly cry in 2016?
I almost cried while listening to Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke because I could relate to it so much: It talked about depression, and writing, and that feeling of being a young person who doesn’t know what to do or even what they want out of life.
Hidden gem of the year?
Baba Yaga’s Assistant by Marika McCoola was a very good graphic novel about a young girl, her grandmother, and their eventual friendship with a witch. The beginning was rather slow but I ended up loving it and giving it four stars. It kind of reminded me of Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant books in spirit!
The End of Summer by Tillie Walden, because its ending was so sad and ambiguous!
Most unique book I read in 2016?
It’s a three-way tie between The Wicked + The Divine (since I don’t really even understand what’s going on but I adore it anyway), Pale Fire (the format is really weird and that’s all I’m going to say about it for now), and Is Your Cat Gay? by Charles Kreloff (which asks the truly important questions in life, OBVIOUSLY).
A book that made me mad?
Alone Forever: The Singles Collection by Liz Prince, because she kept making jokes about how she was still single because she was an ugly dyke, et cetera. I remember her making similar comments in another book, Tomboy, as well. I won’t be reading any more of her work.
My Blogging/Bookish Life
New favorite book blog I discovered in 2016?
I absolutely adore Dahlia Adler’s LGBTQ+ Reads. I’m not saying it’s the only reason my TBR is now thousands of books long, but it certainly is a contributing factor.
8 Reasons Why “Adulthood Is A Myth” Is The Perfect Book For Anyone Who Fails At #Adulting (AKA All Of Us) was definitely my favorite because it was written in list format and I love lists! Also, the book itself was amazing and funny and oh so much fun to talk about.
Best discussion/non-review post I had on my blog?
Diversity Needs No Justification | Thoughts On Including LGBTQ+ Characters In Star Wars, because I love talking about GAYS in SPACE. And about diversity in general, really.
Best event that I participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, et cetera)?
AHHH THERE WERE SO MANY THIS YEAR I FEEL SO SO LUCKY.
In October I met Roxane Gay at the Iowa City Book Festival, read some of my writing to her, and asked her to sign Bad Feminist.
I also attended Rick Rioradn’s Iowa City Book Festival event, which was one of the stops on his book tour for The Hammer of Thor. (I also received a signed copy of the book, although this one came pre-signed and I didn’t get to meet him in person. I did get to ask him a question about his writing process, though! Eeee!)
Finally, in November I met Lois Lowry, attended a lecture she gave, and got my copies of The Giver and Number the Stars signed. (!!!!)
I can’t bear to decide between any of the four author-y moments I just mentioned! Each one was so amazing for very different reasons.
Most thought-provoking review or discussion I read on somebody else’s blog?
Ooh, definitely Do House Systems In Fiction Appeal To You? by Heather @ Sometimes I’m A Story. LMAO I FEEL LIKE I OFTEN GIVE SHOUT-OUTS TO HER BLOG BUT I KIND OF HAVE TO BECAUSE IT’S JUST THAT GOOD.
Most popular post on my blog this year?
No More Dead Lesbians, which greatly pleases me because I worked SO HARD on that post and am so proud of it.
A post I wish got a little more love?
#GiveElsaAGirlfriend | Let’s Talk About Single Characters, Diversity, & Making Excuses because, like I said, I love talking about diversity.
Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, et cetera)?
I started using Librivox this year in order to listen to audiobooks of classic stories and I appreciate it so so much! It makes getting through long, complicated classic works for school much easier because I can just have the whole thing read to me.
Did I complete any reading challenges or goals that I had set for myself at the beginning of this year?
Not yet, but I will! At ninety-three books, I currently stand seven books away from my 2016 Goodreads reading challenge goal of one hundred… but this time last year, I had read only eighty-one books and yet I still managed to catch up and achieve my goal!
One book I didn’t get to in 2016 but will be my #1 priority in 2017?
Definitely The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater, the conclusion to the Raven Cycle series! Can’t quite believe I still haven’t read it, considering how much I was looking forward to it. Thanks, depression, for sucking away my motivation to do anything.
I can’t wait for Difficult Women, a collection of short stories by Roxane Gay!
A 2017 debut I am anticipating?
The Education of Margot Sanchez, because yayyyy for diverse contemporary YA!
A series ending/sequel I am most anticipating in 2017?
The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan, sequel to The Hidden Oracle… which I still need to read, but ahhh I’ve heard so many good things about it that I’m already excited for its sequel!
One thing I hope to accomplish or do in my reading/blogging life in 2017?
I know I say this every year, but I really, REALLY hope to pare down my TBR somewhat next year because it’s currently more than three thousand books long and that is just ridiculous.
A 2017 release I’ve already read and recommended to everyone?
BAHAHA I AM NEITHER ORGANIZED ENOUGH NOR LUCKY ENOUGH FOR THAT.
How was YOUR year in terms of reading?! Be sure to let me know in the comments section below. Feel free to join the link-up on your own blog!